- Women In Sound
Conversations about gender in the music-production industry often boil down to the question: Why aren’t there more women in sound? To Madeleine Campbell, a Pittsburgh-based audio engineer, a better question would be: Why aren’t you paying attention to the ones who are?
Women In Sound, a new print zine created by Campbell — with illustrations by Elly Dallas and design and formatting by Maggie Negrete — aims to shift that conversation and highlight experiences of women working in the industry. Launching on Oct. 2 with a release party coordinated with VIA Festival, the first issue of Women In Sound features conversational interviews with a dozen subjects, ranging from composers like Holly Hendron, and engineers like Catherine Vericolli to educators like the staff of Women’s Audio Mission in San Francisco.
“So much media that talks about women in any creative field is really focused around ‘what’s it like being a woman that does this thing?’ Which is ridiculous,” says Campbell, 23, who works at Treelady Studios. (She is also an occasional City Paper contributor.) “Sometimes it’s great, sometimes it sucks, just like when you’re a man. So I made sure to not focus on that.”
Though the conversations don’t shy away from the challenges and casual misogyny facing women in the field, Women In Sound is closer to a description of whom she’s talking to, rather than what they’re talking about.
“I think the zine's goal is the goal of a lot of women in sound: increased visibility,” Jenn Gooch, a local artist and musician performing at the release show, wrote via email. “It's an important conversation, and one we need to have until the day there's even close to equal representation on stage, behind the board, in the booth, etc ...”
Joining Gooch on the all female-identified VIA lineup are Molly Soda, Eartheater, Moor Mother Goddess, Lex Brown, Audra Wist and Pittsburgh’s Submistress.
“This lineup is important to me because it really focuses on the autonomous female,” says Campbell. “Every one of these performers is a solo woman who is self-sufficient and loud and, in some ways, making a spectacle of themselves, which I fully support. I think women should do that more.”